HYDRA by Olivia Pirie-Griffiths

hydra

Dreams of Hydra in my eye

full with fruit of years gone by

of warmth that wraps around your feet

the mother sun,

a welcome heat

faces crack with salty grin

the harbour breathes boats out and in

day after day, they putt away

and then come back with fish to eat. 

 

You slip into the velvet, blue

your restful sister yearns for you

gone are the days 

gone are the ways

where people sat with naught to do

alive in stillness, vast and full

a place for thinking, being, listening,

learning, dreaming, teaching, living

Hydra brings it back to you.

 

At night, a quiet, broad and deep

of solitude and earthy sleep

broke only by the donkey's bray

circus of stars, aeons away

and in the turning afternoon

cicadas hum a song in tune 

the rhythm's slow, the form is free

while they stay shaded in their tree.

 

Before the evening settles in

the beads of sweat cling on your skin

after a day of salt and bliss 

urchins on the mantlepiece

reminders of a week so true

walking with him

beside the blue

one day you'll visit here again

Hydra, a gentleman and friend.

~

 

DREAM SEQUENCE by Olivia Pirie-Griffiths

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Drip, drip… drip, drip.

Little sounds everywhere

all a suddy you're aware

of creaks and cranks throughout the night

of bumps that wake you up in fright

a skitter on the floorboard starts

a mental theatre, in two parts:

 

Act One houses moonlight through

the open window, there’s a clue!

but still you're in a placid sleep

dreaming of a lake so deep

fish swimming slowly down below

to fathoms where the strange things grow…

 

and then from blackness comes a shape

your dreaming mouth does drop and gape

a tentacle of brilliant hue,

of fleshy pink and mouldy blue!

comes winding upwards through the dark

it grabs your foot, and with a start –

 

up you sit in bed – the shock!

the frame like a canoe does rock

as though you're travelling on the tide

your foot (you check) is safe inside

you breathe anew and look around

you're safe at home, so lie back down

and slowly once again you go

into the moonlit shadows, lo!

 

"Behold Act Two!", Luna cries

while she lounges in the sky

a champion of eerie sport

this nightmare watchman loves her work

touching eyelids closed and calm

you've welcomed her, in all her charm

until you feel a hint of fear

for you don't really know her, dear.

 

She finds her way beneath your eyes 

and side-long by your dream she flies

until you're moving head-to-head

you turn and notice what you dread

she's changed the course on which you fly

The Place of Plenty passes by

she leads you into craggy hills 

where darkness clings to rock and tree

the sounds, the scents

they disappear

instead come shadows, wraiths of fear 

they circle round you, faceless, cold 

this isn't where you want to be.

 

They wrap you up just like a fly

wriggles in a web to die

and all the while she gazes down

an ancient rock with gleaming crown

this is, for her, a nightly feast

she preys on dreamers in their peace

'That's it!' you cry, with raspy voice,

'dreamers dream, this is my choice!'

Luna looks on with a frown

you're free to go, you've won this round

 

you breaststroke upward to the sky

watching whisps of cloud pass by

the shadows fade, and light flows in

your body rests on pillows white

a breeze is rippling on your skin

but cloud-made quilts, they wrap you tight

you sigh a sigh of sheer relief

you conquered Luna's Land of Grief!

your eyelids open slow to see

moonbeams on the old gum tree.

~

 

AN OCEAN ODE by Olivia Pirie-Griffiths

You’ll always find friends in the sea

blush-coloured fish in filigree

a countryside hidden from view

to folks who walk and talk as though

they understand the endless deep

the place that breathes while we sleep

the place from which we came to be

where life began, where things are free.

 

I heard whispers, old and true

that spoke of birth and growth in blue

they mentioned springs of conscious life

the start of colour, laughter, strife.

 

Then, in time, the plastic came

the water rose and warmed in pain

the colour drained from gardens few

so we continued, as we do,

till now past riches are bone white

creatures dart and dive in plight

this place will never be the same

if we can’t learn to love again

 

and love we will, when we can see

that life itself comes from the sea

rolling fabrics, lofty hills

Earth’s palace swathed in emerald hue,

gilded waves with morning trills

and shards of sunlight sprinkle through

 

they glitter down upon the tide

and dance across the seahorse hide  

to vibrant gardens underneath

our comrade, the old coral reef.

~

SOUTH by Olivia Pirie-Griffiths

South of the city feels like home

a land where fewer people roam

away from buildings in the sky

a place where flocks of spoonbills fly


the bell bird’s song sounds all day long

amid the leaves and living throng

you’ll find some time to hear the breeze

spreading gossip through the trees


and when you’re by the inlet blue

the dappled sun shares stories too

tales of the fish below

and knowledge of how oysters grow


this wisdom travels from the deep

to mountains where old memories sleep

between the two lies rolling green

the lushest country ever seen


a countryside robust and true

but delicate as morning dew

the health of which, as all things do,

depends on folks like me and you.


~

MARIGOLD by Olivia Pirie-Griffiths

 A little drawing I did of Coleridge's Xanadu for my nephew, Dougie the Doog.

A little drawing I did of Coleridge's Xanadu for my nephew, Dougie the Doog.

We wonder if with ageing comes

a grace and wisdom far beyond

the measures of our childhood brain

which giggled sun, cried tears of rain

within that mind grew trees of gold, and endless mountains - aeons old

it played with faeries clothed in folded leaves with buttons marigold

the curving hills of Xanadu, the place of plenty, known to few

where played a music felt right through

I won't forget that place, will you?

~

POEM FOR A FLOWER by Olivia Pirie-Griffiths

 Snippet of Laura Jones's 'Poppies 2012, oil on linen, 70 x 86 cm'

Snippet of Laura Jones's 'Poppies 2012, oil on linen, 70 x 86 cm'

Have you watched a flower grow?

have you watched from seed through sow?

watch the petals tumble out

watch them as they fan about

dancers on a ballroom stage

they move with grace and calm embrace

see the colours change from pink

to red with burns of orange ink

marvel as it stretches tall

toward the iridescent ball

the mighty sun, bringer of life!

god of love and war and strife!

 


Bringer of death its role as well

do not forget life comes in two

from night to day, from me to you

harmony can only be

when two things balance equally

like petals on a rose with thorns

or gentle deer with savage horns

 


and when the flower dies,

it will

don’t lament, there’s beauty still

beauty in the curling leaves,

fading colours

hungry bees

for life is growth and death and change

from clover through to mountain range

we are the stars, we are the sea

and when we die we are all three

the sun, the deep and all between

that dying flower is our Queen


watch her grow from birth to death

her beauty lies in changing breath.

~